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商业 - 金融

中国影子银行体系走向网络化

Erik Heinrich 2014年07月14日

中国社科院估算,中国影子银行的规模已经达到令人咋舌的4.4万亿美元,约为全国银行总资产的20%;同时,中国影子银行的网络化程度越来越高。换句话说,它的重要性越来越高,监管难度越来越大。

    把中国的影子银行体系比喻成一只巨兽并不算夸张。它存在于常规借贷渠道之外,也不受强大的监管部门控制,多少有些危险。

    中国社科院( the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)5月份公布的估算数据显示,中国影子银行的规模已经达到令人咋舌的4.4万亿美元,约为全国银行总资产的20%——它的体量足以抗衡正规银行系统,广度足以让它成为中国这个世界第二大经济体的关键影响因素之一。

    中国影子银行体系的网络化程度正在不断上升。现在已经出现了拍拍贷(Ppdai.com)等2000多个P2P中介网站。它们的思路很简单,那就是人们可以借钱给陌生人,而后者基本上可以用贷款买任何东西——新车、婚纱以及个体户库存。作为回报,出资人可以获得20%以上的利息,远高于传统银行存款3%的利率水平。

    研究机构高德纳(Gartner)上海代表处研究主管沈哲怡指出:“投资者有追逐高回报的需求,而需要迅速筹集资金的小微企业则经常被常规借贷渠道拒于门外,P2P平台可以有效地把二者对接起来。”

    在线P2P借贷并非中国独有,它在西方的历史更悠久【Lending Club是众多西方P2P贷款网站中的一个,它提供个人贷款,而且已经接受了谷歌(Google)的投资】。为抵消全球金融市场陷入低谷的影响,中国政府采取了一系列刺激性开支措施;随后,中国从2010年开始紧缩银根,结果让P2P贷款在这个世界上人口最多的国家找到了最大的受众群体。

    有意思的是,这些P2P微型贷款的违约率只比中国顶尖金融机构公布的坏账率高一点儿。

    沈哲怡说:“这些真诚守信的参与者都在设法为借方和贷方提供有效服务。总的来说,互联网金融给金融机构提了个醒,让它们意识到自己不能再像以前那样坐等业务上门,同时盼着利润能滚滚而来。”

    举例来说,P2P贷款正在提高银行获取资金的成本。它迫使现有金融机构开始尝试市场化利率和全新的业务模式。

    作为国内金融机构的主要监管部门,中国人民银行(the People’s Bank of China)似乎乐于见到互联网金融(包括P2P贷款)改变中国的银行体系。同时,中国人民银行正在设法对这个领域实施一定的监管,同时为消费者提供保护。一些批评人士警告,如果中国的在线贷款和理财体系遭到打击,比如一家处于领先位置的电子商务企业或者互联网公司倒闭,结果必将引起恐慌,而且可能对主流银行业和整个经济产生严重影响。

    野村证券(Nomura Research)驻北京研究人员神宫健认为:“金融监管未能跟上互联网金融的快速发展。从银行的角度来说,这些新型在线产品可能造成个人存款外流以及基金销售额下降等情况。”

    但沈哲怡指出,中国政府不太可能很快就推出互联网金融监管条例。

    他说:“这项工作非常困难。还没有哪个国家在这方面取得过成功。监管部门需要很长时间才能找到合适的办法。”(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    It’s not an overstatement to liken China’s shadow banking system to an enormous beast. It exists outside regular lending channels. Somewhat ominously, it also lies beyond the control of the country’s powerful regulators.

    Shadow banking in China has reached a staggering $4.4 trillion, or about 20 percent of the country’s total bank assets, according to estimates by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences published in May—substantial enough to rival the country’s formal banking system, and broad enough to be a key economic driver for the world’s No. 2 economy.

    Increasingly China’s shadow banking is migrating online. There are now more than 2,000 websites such as Ppdai.com brokering peer-to-peer, or P2P, transactions. The idea is simple: People can lend their money to strangers for virtually anything—a new car, a wedding dress, inventory for a home-based business—and in return they enjoy rates of interest exceeding 20 percent, significantly better than the 3 percent they would earn by parking their money in a traditional Chinese savings account.

    “P2P as a platform efficiently matches the demand of investors looking for high return options with small and micro businesses who need quick funding but have been very much excluded from formal lending practices,” says Sandy Shen, research director in Gartner’s Shanghai office.

    Online P2P lending is not unique to China and has an older history in the West. (One example of many:Lending Club, which offers personal loans and has accepted investment from Google GOOG 0.87% .) But the practice is finding its biggest audience in the world’s most populous nation after the country tightened bank credit in 2010 following a bout of stimulus spending to counter the global financial downturn.

    Interestingly, the default rate on P2P micro-loans is only slightly higher than the bad-loans ratio reported by China’s biggest financial institutions.

    “There are sincere and honest players that try to serve the borrowers and lenders in an efficient way,” Shen says. “Internet finance in general is a wake-up call to financial institutions that they can no longer sit back doing business as usual and expect profits keep rolling in.”

    P2P lending, for example, is raising the cost for banks of acquiring funds. This in turn is forcing established lenders to experiment with interest rate liberalization and new business models.

    The People’s Bank of China, the country’s main regulator of financial institutions, seems to like the fact that Internet-based finance (which includes P2P lending) is shaking up the country’s banking system. At the same time, it seeks to impose some regulatory authority over the sector and put consumer protections in place. A shock to China’s online lending and wealth-management system—such as the collapse of a leading e-commerce or Internet company and ensuing panic—could seriously damage mainstream banking and the economy as a whole, some critics warn.

    “Financial regulation has failed to keep up with Internet finance’s rapid growth,” says Takeshi Jingu, a researcher at Nomura Research in Beijing. “From banks’ standpoint, the new online products could lead to an outflux of retail deposits and decreased fund sales.”

    Still, it’s unlikely that Chinese authorities will unveil regulations for Internet finance anytime soon, Shen says.

    “It will be very difficult. No country has been successfully doing that,” she says. “It will take a long time for the regulator to find the right approach.”

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